The PSTN Network is no longer viable: Here’s Why

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The PSTN Network is reaching the end of its life, but why? In this article we will explain what PSTN means and why it is closing. We’ll also suggest few ways you can start preparing.

PSTN meaning and origins

The Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) provides the necessary infrastructure and services for public communication. It consists of the world’s circuit-switched telephone networks, operated by national, regional and local operators. The world is covered with a mass of wires, underwater cables, satellites, cabinets and poles all of which enable telecommunication.

The PSTN has been actively used since late 1800s after Alexander Bell patented the first telephone in 1876. This later led to the formation of the American Bell Telephone Company. It has since been through a number of developments and extensions. Despite its impact on the world, the PSTN is shutting down in the UK on 31st December 2025. For a detailed summary of what that means please read our ‘The Openreach PSTN Withdrawal‘ article.

Why is the PSTN Network closing?

Since its beginning the PSTN network has evolved considerably, implementing new technologies to enable faster communications and reduced operational costs. However, as the PSTN was designed to mainly facilitate analogue voice transmission it is no longer fit for purpose.

Businesses and individuals now regularly use communication services that include video calling, instant messaging and others. PSTN technology was not designed to manage all 3 media (voice, video and data) and is no longer optimal. Going forward it will migrate to the internet and these services will be delivered to businesses through a single connection.

What can you do to prepare?

You should start by assessing your business telecoms and find out what services you use that rely on the PSTN. This is not limited to Phones or Broadband. Many services including lifts and alarms might also rely on PSTN supplied voltage. Therefore also need to be modified or upgraded.

This means upgrading your business phone systems to modern solutions like VoIP. You will also need to upgrade your broadband to SOGEA or FTTP. Ideally you want to upgrade to FTTP but your choice may be limited depending on the local availability. You can use the website to check if FTTP is available in your area.

For professional advice contact us now. Our team at Globe2 will help you assess which of your telecoms services need upgrading. We can also advise you which upgrade options are most suitable for your business.

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